Capital Spending Plan continues to invest in Nashville’s quality of life

Mayor Karl Dean

Mayor Karl Dean

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Mayor Karl Dean’s administration has filed a $300 million capital spending plan for Fiscal Year 2014 that continues investments in improving the quality of life for all Nashvillians. It is the Mayor’s fifth capital spending plan since taking office. The bond resolution will require approval from the Metro Council.

“Just like I said during State of Metro last week, Nashville’s high quality of life is a big reason for our current success and momentum,” Mayor Dean said. “We need to keep investing in the things that make this a great place to live and work. This capital spending plan will help make Nashville an even better city by maintaining and expanding our schools, repairing roads and building sidewalks, expanding our greenways and bikeways, investing in mass transit and making it easier and faster for small and mid-size companies to open their doors.”

The largest portion of the proposed $300 million capital spending plan is $95 million for Metro Schools. That includes money to replace Goodlettsville Middle School, renovate and open Waverly Belmont Elementary School and build a new elementary school in Antioch. Funds also would go to maintenance projects district-wide and school expansions.

The $95 million builds on the $100 million in capital dollars Metro Schools received last year. Including the proposed capital spending plan, Mayor Dean has provided $388 million in capital spending to Metro Schools since taking office.

The next largest categories in the capital spending plan are $75 million for Public Works projects, such as roads, sidewalks and bridges, and $45 million for Metro Parks, including $25 million for continued open space acquisition and riverfront redevelopment on the west bank downtown. The funding for Parks projects also includes the next phase of redevelopment in the master plans for Centennial Park and Shelby Park – two of Nashville’s oldest, most popular urban parks.

The capital proposal also includes $3 million to create the One-Stop Permit Center. Housed in the Metro Office Building on the Fulton Campus, the center will co-locate key staff from all of the land development departments, including Planning, Codes, Water Services, Stormwater, Historic Zoning and the Fire Marshall’s Office. By placing all of these services in one location, the new center will simplify the regulatory and permitting process for property owners and allow small and mid-size businesses to begin operations quicker.

Additionally, the spending plan sets aside $7.5 million for the AMP, bus rapid transit with dedicated lanes that would travel 7.1 miles from Five Points in East Nashville to White Bridge Road in West Nashville. Funds would cover the next stage of engineering but would not be spent until the AMP is accepted into project development for the Federal Transit Administration’s Small Starts program. The AMP will provide game-changing, reliable mass transit for Nashville, which is critical to reduce traffic congestion and maintain economic competitiveness.

The capital spending plan includes $192 million for the general government and a $13 million contingency. Other highlights include:

•            $20 million for road paving and $8 million for sidewalks

•            $2 million for bikeways and $3 million for greenways

•            $4 million for maintenance projects at libraries, including new carpet, paint and HVAC (this will be the first time the Nashville Public Library will be provided an on-going source for general maintenance for the branch libraries)

•            $1 million to Limitless Libraries to upgrade two middle school libraries, similar to the Hillwood High School library renovation that was undertaken with private funds

•            $1 million for deferred maintenance at Centennial Sportsplex

•            $1.5 million for Phase 2 of the Centennial Park Master Plan and $1.5 million for Phase 3 of the Shelby Park Master Plan

•            $5 million for road and infrastructure changes at the entrance to the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere, which is currently undergoing a major expansion (the Nashville Zoo is located on land owned by Metro Parks)